MullenLowe Singapore and OMO Encourage Outdoor Play

Recent reports from The Straits Times and BBC revealed Southeast Asian children spend up to six hours a day on screens. Screen time is slowly replacing time spent playing outside. To highlight that this trend is happening without anyone realizing it, MullenLowe Singapore collaborated with Unilever’s leading detergent brand in Vietnam, OMO, to make a subtle but meaningful change on its packaging: kids playing outdoors became kids on screens. The revised packaging was placed on shelves in Vietnam, and shoppers’ reactions to the change were observed.

The results were startling. Out of an average of 500 supermarket customers, no one had noticed the change on the OMO detergent packaging. The resounding message was representative of this unnoticed transformation from playtime to screen time in Southeast Asia.

The creative team at MullenLowe Singapore wanted the campaign to not just bring the idea to life, but to also spark conversations among households. Ang Sheng Jin, Executive Creative Director, MullenLowe Singapore, commented, “What better way to make this problem tangible than by putting it right on the pack? We experimented to see if anyone would notice the children with screens, or if it would go just as unnoticed as it does in real life. Either way, we’d be provoking an important a conversation.”

This provocation set in motion the first steps toward progressive change in Southeast Asia, by encouraging parents and kids to swap screen time for play time. It ignited a social debate among parents, schools, specialists, and the media. Families and children were inspired to put down their screens, go out and start playing again.

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